Chemical Peels

Tulsa Cosmetic Surgery Facial Peels

What is a Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel is a treatment that is best performed by a medical professional such as an Aesthetician, and should never be performed at home. This treatment can be considered a “controlled injury ” to the skin. It is a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin on the face, neck or hands. Chemical peels can be used to address acne, pigmentation concerns, freckles, wrinkles, skin tone and texture. By using acid (there are different types) to break down the top layer, or layers, of skin. When applied to the skin these acids interact with proteins causing exfoliation and peeling. Chemical peels are tailored based on each patient’s skin concerns, and also how aggressive each patient’s skin can handle. Your medical Aesthetician will choose the appropriate solution for you. There are three types of chemical peels ― superficial, medium-depth and deep-depth.

Superficial Peels

Superficial peels are indicated to address minor skin concerns like acne, surface scarring, and some discoloration. These peels are known to be safe for all skin types. The most common ingredients used in these peels are Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, and more gentle ones are based with fruit enzymes. The peeling agents are blended with other ingredients to create a liquid-like solution that is then applied to the skin for a period of time long enough to only penetrate the epidermis (outer layer of skin). These peels usually take only 10-15 minutes to apply making them a perfect lunch-time peel. Superficial Peels are most often self-neutralizing, meaning the physician will not cleanse the skin afterwards. After receiving a Superficial peel, you may only experience flaky-ness vs. skin peeling. It takes the skin approximately 3-5 days to heal itself after a superficial peel, which is when you will also start to notice the first signs of your results. The maximum results will be seen about 2 weeks post peel. You can expect your skin to appear smoother, brighter and radiant. Optimal results will be seen when receiving 5-6 treatments, with 3-4 week intervals. Superficial peels may be used to prepare the skin for deeper depth peels or to enhance the efficiency of other procedures being performed on the skin. These peels are also a great maintenance option for patients who don’t have any obvious skin concerns, but would like to keep a radiant, even toned complexion. While during a superficial chemical peel you may experience mild burning sensation, this type of peel requires no sedation, or pain reliever.


Medium-Depth Peels

Medium-depth peels are highly effective in treating acne scars, superficial hyperpigmentation, mild photo-aging, and smoothing out texture. This is a great peel for those patients who want more dramatic results than a Superficial Peel will achieve, but would like to avoid the risk and down time associated with the Deeper Peels. These peels may be safely performed on people with olive and light brown skin; they may be also used on dark brown skin tones, but there is a slight risk of discoloration and should be discussed with your physician. The most common ingredients used in these peels are TCA (Trichloroacetic acid), Jessner’s solution and Glycolic acid. Medium-depth chemical peels aim to penetrate both the Epidermis (Outer layer of skin), and upper part of the Dermis (Middle layer of skin). These peels take only minutes to complete, but depending on how many passes your skin may require, will determine how long you will be in the office. Depending on the solution used during your Medium-depth chemical peel, it may or may – not be self neutralizing. Meaning, your Aesthetician may or may not need to cleanse and remove the solution afterwards. This will all be discussed during your consultation. With a Medium-depth peel you can expect actual skin peeling. It takes approximately three to five days post peel for the skin to start its peeling process and may last 3-5 days. This is still considered moderate downtime, and these types of peels can be applied up to four times per year. With a Medium-depth Chemical Peel you may experience an intense burning sensation during the application. Your physician may consult with you about prescribing pain medication to take prior to your treatment.


Deep-Depth Peels

Deep-depth Peels are used to treat more serious skin concerns such as severely sun damaged skin, deep wrinkles, and deep acne scars. These types of peels may not be suitable for those with darker skin tones, as they could result in scarring or hypopigmentation. The most common solution used in these types of peels is Phenol. Which penetrates the skin deeper than AHA peels or TCA peels. Deep-depth Peels penetrate down to the level of the Reticular Dermis (lower layer of Dermis). A deep chemical peel usually takes from one to two hours to complete, and requires the patient to be sedated. Since a Phenol Peel uses other ingredients to treat the skin, it is only indicated for the face. After your treatment is completed, your physician will wash the solution off with water, and apply a soothing ointment to the treatment area. Compared to other levels of chemical peels, you can expect a significant amount of down time with a deep chemical peel, with skin peeling and swelling lasting up to 2 weeks and skin redness lasting up to 3 months. A Deep-depth chemical peel is so powerful it provides much more dramatic results, and only a single treatment is required. With results that will last for years.


After Care

Skin prepping and aftercare is known to be the most important aspects of any facial treatment. After care varies depending on the level of chemical peel you receive, and your physician will go over every detail on what to expect during and after your treatment at the time of your consultation, so you are prepared on exactly what to expect. You will leave our office with post-op instructions in hand to refer to at anytime, and we will always be just a phone call away. Give our office a call today to schedule your complimentary consultation so we can get you on track to beautiful skin!

Schedule Your
Consultation Today

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Whitlock Cosmetic Center

8913 S Yale Ave, Suite 200
Tulsa, OK 74137
Phone: (918) 743-5438


Monday – Thursday 9am – 5pm